To ease the ongoing cash crunch situation and help better re-caliberate ATMs across the country, RBI (Reserve Bank of India) has constituted a task force. The central bank said, “It has become necessary to re-calibrate all ATMs/ Cash handling machines to dispense the new design notes following introduction of Mahatma Gandhi (New) Series Banknotes including a new High Denomination (Rs 2000) in new designs”. With a view to providing direction and guidance, the central bank has decided to set up a Task Force under the Chairmanship of SS Mundra, Deputy Governor of RBI.
The task force will comprise; representatives from Department of Economic Affairs, Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Home Affairs, representatives from four banks with largest ATM network, viz. SBI, Axis Bank, ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank, representative from NPCI, Chief General Manager, Department of Currency Management, Chief General Manager, Department of Payment and Settlement System. A representative each of ATM office equipment manufacturers (OEMs), Managed Service Providers, cash in transit (CIT) companies and white label ATM (WLA) operators will be invited to the Task Force’s deliberations. The task force will have the major function of ensuring expeditious reactivation of all ATMs in a planned manner.
“ATMs play a vital role in meeting the currency requirements of the public and have become a major channel for disbursement of cash. Re-activation of ATMs extends the availability and disbursal of notes for the customers of banks at convenient time and location in judicious mix of higher and lower denominations,” RBI said. According to the central bank, re-calibration of ATMs involves multiple agencies – banks, ATM manufacturers, National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI), Switch Operators, etc., and multiple activities making it a complex operation requiring immense coordination among these agencies.
Meanwhile, the government is banking on micro-ATMs to address the ongoing liquidity crunch in rural areas. The Department of Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das has said that micro-ATMs will be set up across the country to tide over the cash crunch. micro-ATMs are Point of Sale (PoS) devices, usually easy to hold in the hand. They are ideally meant to allow an individual to deposit or withdraw funds regardless of the bank in which their account is.